OLYMPIC silver medallist Gary Gullock is hungry to taste glory on the national stage before a home crowd.
He gets his chance this weekend but will be keeping a close eye on the action unfolding today, in day one of the Australian Masters Rowing Championships.
The 54-year-old is familiar with what it takes to win on the revamped Lake Wendouree course.
His son Campbell was in the three-seat for Ballarat Grammar’s winning Head of the Lake crew for Ballarat Associated Schools regatta’s centenary celebrations in February.
Gullock, who contested the event in his schooldays for Ballarat High School, said it was thrilling to watch.
Now he is keen to prove his worth again back where his rowing career started.
“It’s a great place to compete,” Gullock said.
“It’ll be great catching up with a lot of the old rowing identities and is a terrific event to come to Ballarat.
“I’ve just got to get fit for rowing again – it’s a totally different kind of fitness, quite unlike anything else.
“There’s so much intensity in rowing and I’ve only really been doing this seriously for training the last couple of months.”
Gullock was introduced to rowing as a teenager in the sheds at High School and Wendouree-Ballarat Rowing Club.
He said technique came back to him as soon as he stepped in the boat, despite an extended break from the sport.
The lure of competing on home waters again in such a major regatta motivated Gullock to take up training again.
His last serious venture out of competitive rowing retirement was the Australian masters in 2002.
Gullock stepped in the boat last weekend to contest the Victorian Masters championships at Lake Wendouree and had success in a composite crew with Melbourne, Banks and Melbourne University oarsmen to salute in the male D-division coxed eight.
He also featured in a Rowing Victoria representative crew that was first across the line in the men’s C coxed eight, which was ineligible to win the state medal.
That crew will take to the water on Saturday for the men’s interstate eight battle.
It will be an interesting test for Gullock, who was an experienced King’s Cup contender in his rowing career.
Gullock will also be in action on Sunday in the men’s D four and men’s C eight – and could hardly wait.